Best case schedule scenarios for the Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers
Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

We are now nearing the next event for the 2023 NFL offseason after an eventful NFL Draft. We will soon find out who the Atlanta Falcons will play each week.

Every team already knows who each of their opponents will be but they will soon find out where those opponents slot into their schedule. With the schedule release coming soon, here is the best-case scenario for the Falcons.

Best case scenario for the Atlanta Falcons schedule in 2023

Before we dive into the best possible result for the Atlanta Falcons schedule release, let's get a refresher on who the Falcons will play during the upcoming season.

Home opponents:

  • Green Bay Packers
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Washington Commanders
  • Carolina Panthers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Road opponents:

  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Arizona Cardinals
  • New York Jets
  • Carolina Panthers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Weather factor:

The first thing you look at, especially with a team that is used to Georgia weather and who plays inside, are the road games against teams who live in cold climates. The Falcons had to travel to Baltimore last year when it was record-breakingly cold, so they would love to avoid having to do that again.

None of the NFC South teams play in cold climates, the Lions play indoors, and the Jaguars, Titans, and Cardinals (who also play indoors) play in warmer states.

That leaves the Bears and Jets games. Jets games can get cold and Bears games can get freezing. Playing both of those teams early in the season would be ideal, especially the Bears because Chicago not only gets cold but it gets brutally windy.

Injury factor:

The next aspect is injuries, and the one that sticks out is Kyler Murray with the Arizona Cardinals. It is estimated that he could be back before the midseason mark. In other words, the Atlanta Falcons would love to play the Cardinals early in the season. If that doesn't end up happening then playing them right after Murray returns could also be beneficial since it could take him a few weeks to get his footing.

Chemistry factor:

There have been a lot of quarterback changes in the NFL over the past few years, and a common theme amongst them is slow starts. The Atlanta Falcons would love to play their opponents that have new QBs early in the season.

The thing is, the Falcons are playing a lot of teams with new passers, especially at home. All of their NFC South rivals have new QBs, and so do the Jets, Packers, Texans, Colts, and Commanders.

It is obviously impossible to play all of those teams early but the one team that does stick out is the Jets. Aaron Rodgers will be playing for his first new team in the NFL and considering he doesn't participate in some minicamps and practices, playing him early could be a difference-maker. He won't have the best chemistry with his coaches and teammates right away.

As for the rest of the teams; the Texans, Colts, and Panthers could all be starting rookies, the Packers will be starting a QB who has had a lot of experience in his scheme already, and the Commanders will be rolling with a young, late-round pick. Then there are the Bucs and Saints who have new, veteran quarterbacks and certainly, the Falcons will see those two teams early in the season.

Playoff rest factor:

And finally, we have the teams who could be resting starters if they have a playoff berth clinched. Most namely, the Jaguars, possibly the Vikings or Lions, and those Jets again.

When it comes to the Jaguars, playing them in week 18 would be the best-case scenario. They are the favorites in what is a weak division. You could easily see Doug Pederson electing to rest guys like Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Calvin Ridley, and Foye Oluokun if they have their playoff positioning on lock.

The NFC North could go any which way, so we won't know who is the most preferred opponent to play late. My gut says it will be the Vikings because they have the experience but the Lions could certainly have the division clinched late.

For the Jets, it comes down to the question of if you would rather play them early when it is warmer and they don't have chemistry or when they could potentially be resting starters. Personally, I would rather bank on playing them early because they could still be playing for a lot even in week 18 with them sharing a division with the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills.

Overall outlook:

After all the talk, the summary is that the Falcons would like to have early season matchups against the New York Jets, Chicago Bears, and Arizona Cardinals and late season matchups with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions. The Falcons have a relatively easy schedule that could become even easier if they have luck on their side with their schedule.

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